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Can I get sued if I dont own anything, have no money, and have nothing of real value?

San Diego, CA |

I was driving my girlfriend’s car and rear-ended someone at a red light while going at a speed of about 3-5 mph. I don’t have insurance and neither does my girlfriend. There was no damage to the other person’s car, but my girlfriend’s hood has small dent.

I pulled over gave her my license info and phone number; she said if I give her $450 we can settle this, but she filed the claim before I could get her the money. Bottom line: Can I get sued if I don’t own anything, have no money, and have nothing of real value?

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Attorney answers 4


Yes, you can get sued and a judgment taken against you. The question is whether you are worried about losing anything when it comes time to the collection. A judgment is valid for a number of years which ranges from 7-10 years, depending on your State, and it is also renewable. That is, 15 years down the line, you may own something and then the judgment becomes collectible. Further, if you have a job, your pay can be garnished and anything you have in the bank can be taken.

The fact that the other driver made a claim with her insurance means that she will get her car repaired (if the repairs are more than her deductible) and then the insurance company will turn around and will look to you for any money they have paid for the repairs, including the amount of the deductible paid by their insured.

At this point, without insurance and the other side having decided not to negotiate with you any further, you can only wait and see if you get served with any court papers. If you do, then you will need to negotiate a settlement or a payment plan. If not, judgment will be taken against you and you will have that hanging over your head for many years.


Yes. As to whether they can collect anything from you, this is a different issue.

They could get a judgment; the judgment would be good for 10 years and could be renewed after 10 years if not collected at that time. It would also continue to accrue interest at 10%.


Yes, of course you can get sued. The question is, if the court enters a judgment, what will the driver of the other car do to collect? You don't have a house they can lien or other pricey assets. So, if they feel like it they can bring you back to court periodically for orders to pay over time.


Yes, you can get sued even if you have little or nothing. Of course, if a judgment is eventually rendered against you, the debt might be dischargeable in bankruptcy.

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